Proposed Lewisporte recreation complex to include optional pool
Outgoing councillor takes exception to lack of concrete pool plan, addition of curling rink
The specter of Lewisporte’s proposed, and later discarded, municipal swimming pool was raised at the regular meeting of the Lewisporte Town Council Sept. 5.
Outgoing councillor Jim Snow, who is not on the ballot in this year’s municipal election, took issue with the approval of a development plan for a proposed recreation complex in Lewisporte. The final concept for the facility includes an “open area for optional swimming pool, recreation field, additional parking or other,” in the design. Snow took exception to the use of the term optional in the description, and the allowance for alternative uses.
“One of the main priorities of this council had been a swimming pool,” Snow said in his address to council. “We ended up with $4.6 million — now it was supposedly for a pool, we’re out there now and it wasn’t even added to the initial concept.”
In 2011 the town received $ 4.6 million in capital works funding from the province to build a swimming pool for residents of Lewisporte. Under the terms of the deal with the province, the town would be responsible for coming up with 20 per cent — about $920,000 — of the total cost. Ultimately the town decided it could not build a suitable venue with the funds available and the cost of operation would be prohibi- tive. As a result the funds were re-profiled and utilized to remediate flood damage that occurred in 2016.
Snow pointed out the current design allows for a curling rink and a multipurpose facility that was never a stated priority for council. The outgoing councillor said the pool should still be a top priority and reiterated the community’s desire for an aquatic’s centre.
“I wouldn’t even entertain voting in favour,” said Snow of the proposal.
Coun. Ed Vatcher, who introduced the motion to approve the concept, agreed the curling rink was recently added to the design. Vatcher also stated the design is only a development plan and the incoming council would be able to amend the plan.
“This is just a development plan being presented here, it’s not saying they have to do it that way,” said Vatcher. “The thing was, we spent the money we had for the pool, so that money is gone.”
Snow responded to Vatcher, stating the town did not have the funds to construct a curling rink either, and that he believed the matter should be left to the incoming council.
After some discussion the final concept was approved with Snow providing the only dissenting vote.
Council also approved an amendment to the Woolfrey’s Pond Park and Campground final concept. The amendment will provide for the construction of a secondary access road. The proposed road would run from the former Blue Buoy Food site on Range Road to Sunset Boulevard. Council approved the change unanimously.